Last night while in that strange no man's land between waking and sleeping(a great place for ideas, I've recently discovered), I realized something. I've been smoking cigarettes more or less for the last 6 years. I shudder when I think that that much time has gone by, but indeed it has. One thing I've noticed in my quitting stints is if you fail once, you're back to square one. Go 5 days without a smoke, awesome! Friend comes over and offers one and you say screw it, you're screwing yourself.
As much as I've kicked and screamed and searched for loopholes in this simple and painful truth, there is no such thing(for me at least) as "just one"... and it's hard to convince yourself out of a cigarette when "just one" is not that harmful. I realized I have been making segregated decisions, rather than holistic ones. Instead of "I'm choosing to be a smoker", I think "I'm just having one cigarette", when that is not the case at all. Actions set the foundation for habits and thus life. It's easy to make a bad decision that takes just a moment when you think of your decisions as isolated incidents, but when you look at the very real fact that your entire existence is made up of those small moments, you take them a little more seriously. Thinking about whether or not I want to spend my life smoking is much more conducive to my goal than thinking about whether or not I want to smoke in that moment(which I do, of course).
Later on after the idea developed a bit further I realized that this truth applies to everything: Our eating habits, our thoughts, the way we talk to ourselves and others. We are creatures of habit. This is undeniable.
“Every decision you make is not a decision about what to do; it’s a decision about who you are.” -Neale Donald Walsch